Bureaucracy and Agricultural Policy Implementation in Venezuela (1958-1991)
This chapter analyzes the main characteristics of Venezuelan bureaucracy in the democratic period; agricultural policy implementation during the same period, by means of the case of coffee policy in the Venezuelan Andes; and the role of a clientelistic bureaucracy in the articulation of technical rationality and traditional structures. Public policy implementation in Venezuela has been heavily affected since 1958 by the coexistence of the technocratic rationality of decision making at the centralized level with a pervasive clientelistic rationality within the bureaucratic apparatus in charge of executing decisions. A quick profile of Venezuelan bureaucracy can be given through three adjectives: authoritarian, clientelistic, and incompetent. It is interesting to see how the traditional power structure manifested itself in the formation of cooperatives and PACCAs in the Andes. In this the clientelistic structure of bureaucracy played a part, but so did the persistence of traditional power structures.